25 Universities With Attractive Municipal Bonds


March 05, 2013

When most people think of municipal bonds, they think of debt issued by a government institution. But these popular securities can also come from your local university, and some of them offer more attractive yields and fundamentals than their government counterparts. Below, we outline 25 universities with municipal bonds that feature low, stable yields, giving them an added attraction. Note that munis with high yields are often very risky and can fall under the "junk" umbrella, which is what sets the following issues apart [keep up with municipal bond news and analysis with a free account].

1. Doane College

Established in 1872, this liberal arts college resides in Crete, Nebraska. With an enrollment of just under 3,000, the Tigers compete in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, with dozens of sports to choose from. Better yet, their municipal bond offering holds a lot of promise with a low and stable yield that will be sustainable for some time.

  • Name: Crete Nebraska Educational Facilities Revenue Refunding Doane College Project
  • CUSIP:226493AA2
  • Maturity: 02/15/2014
  • Coupon: 0.450%

2. University of California

The University of California is most famous for college football's "The Play" when, in 1982, a series of laterals on a final seconds kickoff return led to a stunning victory, even with the band prematurely running onto the field. However, the institution should also be known for its muni issue that holds a fair amount of promise for prospective investors.

  • Name: University of California Revenues FLTG Rate Notes Taxable Series Y-1
  • CUSIP:91412GEZ4
  • Maturity: 07/01/2041
  • Coupon: 0.781%

3. Montana State University

Founded in 1893, Montana State University's campus sprawls across 1,170 acres, making it the largest in the state. The school features some of the most unique research facilities in the U.S., including its Plant Growth Center (comprised of nearly 30 greenhouses) and the Center for Bison and Wildlife Health. Furthermore, the University's municipal bond offers a relatively attractive coupon.

  • Name: State of Montana The Board of Regents of Higher Education Montana State University Facilities Refunding Revenue Bonds Series O 2012
  • CUSIP: 61212LMQ9
  • Maturity: 11/15/2016
  • Coupon: 1.451%

4. Iowa State University

Iowa State University is one of the top three U.S. universities in the development of patentable biotechnology, and was the birthplace of the world's first electronic digital computer. In addition to being widely known for its strengths in science and technology, their municipal bond offering exhibits an appealing and stable yield.

  • Name: Board of Regents, State of Iowa Parking System Revenue Bonds, Series S.U.S. 2013A (The State University of Iowa)
  • CUSIP: 857536DZ6
  • Maturity: 07/01/2022
  • Coupon: 2.000%

5. University of Iowa

Established in 1847, the University of Iowa was the first U.S. public university to admit men and women on an equal basis. It is also home to the world-renowned Iowa Writers' Workshop, the National Advanced Driving Simulator and one of America's best hospitals. The university's municipal bond issue has also gotten significant attention from investors with its stable and promising outlook.

  • Name: University of Iowa Facilities Corporation Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2012 (Roy J. And Lucille A. Carver Biomedical Research Building Project)
  • CUSIP: 914364QQ0
  • Maturity: 01/06/2019
  • Coupon: 2.000%

6. University of Richmond

Ranked as one of the best schools for international business education, the University of Richmond also holds the title of being the only college or professional sports organization to have an arachnid (the Spider) as its mascot. Its municipal bond issues also makes it stand out from the rest, with its relatively high and stable yield.

  • Name: Virginia College Building Authority (21st Century College and Equipment Programs) Educational Facilities Revenue Bonds Series 2012B
  • CUSIP: 927781L36
  • Maturity: 01/02/2026
  • Coupon: 2.000%

7. Missouri State University

Located in Missouri's third largest city, Springfield, Missouri State University is the only public affairs university of the state. And while their mascot is The Bear, there is certainly no reason to be bearish about the university's muni bond issues.

  • Name: Missouri State University Auxiliary Enterprise System Revenue Bonds Series 2010C
  • CUSIP: 606377BL2
  • Maturity: 10/01/2015
  • Coupon: 2.150%

8. University of Miami, Florida

The University of Miami is well known for its research in the medical and marine science fields and is engaged in $360 million in research and sponsored program expenditures a year. Its muni bond issues are also popular choices for investors, as they offer stable and relatively attractive yields.

  • Name: Miami Dade County Educational Facilities Authority Revenue Bonds, Series 2012B (University of Miami Issue) (Taxable)
  • CUSIP: 59333ALA7
  • Maturity: 04/01/2019
  • Coupon: 2.439%

9. North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Commonly known as N.C. State, or simply State, the North Carolina State University was established in 1887 and is currently the largest four-year institution in North Carolina. The school's municipal bonds are traded often, and generally exhibit stable yields.

  • Name: North Carolina Stat University At Raleigh Taxable General Revenue Bonds Series 2013 B
  • CUSIP: 658289B36
  • Maturity: 10/01/2022
  • Coupon: 2.473%

10. Oakland University

Oakland University gained national attention this November when the campus hosted a national Republican presidential debate. In 2012, the university also officially launched the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. According to Moody's, the university has exhibited stable enrollment with a solid trend of positive growth and increased financial resources in recent years.

  • Name: Board of Trustees of Oakland University General Revenue Bonds, Series 2012
  • CUSIP: 673588DM8
  • Maturity: 03/01/2015
  • Coupon: 2.500%

11. University of South Carolina

Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina, Columbia has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its research and engagement, and has received praise for its prestigious international business programs. The university's municipal bond issues have also garnered a lot of attention for their attractive and stable yield.

  • Name: Coastal Carolina University South Carolina Higher Education Revenue Bonds Series 2013
  • CUSIP: 19043CAJ1
  • Maturity: 06/01/2024
  • Coupon: 2.500%

12. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Located in Carbondale, Illinois, the Southern Illinois University is home to the largest student center in the nation and boasts its own bowling alley. The school's athletic division has also received national attention as three of the university's swimmers qualified for the 2012 Olympics, and the precision flight team won 8 national championships. The university's muni bond issue has also performed well over the last year, maintaining relatively stable and high yields.

  • Name: Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University Southern Illinois University Housing and Auxiliary Facilities System Revenue Bonds, Series 2012A
  • CUSIP: 8431462J9
  • Maturity: 04/01/2019
  • Coupon: 2.550%

13. Northwest Missouri State University

The Northwest Missouri State University is widely recognized for its use of technology to deliver, improve and accelerate learning. In 1987, the school installed the nation's first comprehensive Electronic Campus, which today includes PCs for every student. Moody's has also recognized the university for its careful budgeting practices, which is one of the reasons why its muni bond issue holds an A3 rating.

  • Name: Northwest Missouri State University Housing System Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2012
  • CUSIP: 667598GA8
  • Maturity: 06/01/2024
  • Coupon: 2.625%

14. Worcester State University

Located in Massachusetts, Worcester State University offers more than 50 academic programs across its two schools: the School of Education, Health & Natural Sciences and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The university's muni bond issues currently hold an A2 Moody's rating.

  • Name: Massachusetts Development Finance Agency Revenue Bonds, Worcester State University Issue, Series 2012
  • CUSIP: 57583UTJ7
  • Maturity: 11/01/2027
  • Coupon: 2.750%

15. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities boasts the sixth-largest main campus student body in the United States, and has been acknowledged as the birthplace of the tradition of cheerleading. Though the school was established in 1851, its municipal bond issue is fairly new.

  • Name: Regents of The University of Minnesota General Obligation Taxable Bonds, Series 2013B
  • CUSIP: 914460KR0
  • Maturity: 02/01/2025
  • Coupon: 2.750%

16. Xavier University

Founded in 1831, Xavier University is the fourth-oldest Jesuit Catholic university in the nation and is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Speaker of the House John Boehner is one of the school's notable alumni. The university's municipal bond is also popular among investors, as it trades relatively frequently.

  • Name: State of Ohio Higher Educational Facility Revenue Bonds (Xavier University 2010 Project)
  • CUSIP: 67756AP71
  • Maturity: 05/01/2014
  • Coupon: 2.750%

17. University of Denver

The University of Denver is the oldest independent university in the Rocky Mountain area, and was established in 1864. Combined, the school's athletic teams have won 28 NCAA championships, 308 All-Americans, and have produced 57 Olympians. The university's regularly traded muni bond has also posted solid performances.

  • Name: Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority Revenue Bonds (University of Denver Project) Series 2013
  • CUSIP: 19645RSN2
  • Maturity: 03/01/2027
  • Coupon: 3.000%

18. University of Colorado

Another Rocky Mountain school, the University of Colorado has four major campuses in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus in Colorado. According to the university's website, the school has contributed more than $5.3 billion to the Colorado economy and employed more than 43,000 people from 2011 to 2012. As such, the school's municipal bonds hold significant appeal, especially for those looking for shorter maturities.

  • Name: University Colo Enterprise System Revenue Series A
  • CUSIP: 91417KLR0
  • Maturity: 06/01/2014
  • Coupon: 3.000%

19. Central College

Located in Pella, Iowa, Central College was founded in 1853 and is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. The school offers 39 majors, and approximately 50% of the students enroll in study-abroad programs, compared to the nation's average of 1%. The university's municipal bond issues are fairly new and have a relatively short maturity.

  • Name: Iowa Higher Education Loan Authority Private Collage Facility Revenue Bonds (Upper Iowa University Project) Series 2012
  • CUSIP: 462460X35
  • Maturity: 09/01/2019
  • Coupon: 3.000%

20. Kansas State University

Commonly referred to as K-State, the Kansas State University currently boasts more national CASE/Carnegie Professors of the Year than any other public research university in the nation. Notable alumni include former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, environmental activist Erin Brockovich, and actors Eric Stonestreet and Kristie Alley. The university's municipal bonds are regularly traded and feature a relatively attractive yield.

  • Name: Kansas Development Finance Authority Revenue Bonds, Series 2012 (Kansas State University Energy Conservation Project)
  • CUSIP: 485429SV7
  • Maturity: 05/01/2032
  • Coupon: 3.000%

21. University of Maryland

Established in 1856, the University of Maryland has produced six Nobel laureates, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, and more than 40 members of the national academies. In addition, the school's close proximity to the nation's capital has also led to strong research partnerships with the Federal government. According to Moody's, the university's municipal bond rating of Aa1 reflects its very strong student and research market position as a multi-campus public university system serving an Aaa-rated state.

  • Name: University System of Maryland Auxiliary Facility and Tuition Revenue Bonds 2012 Refunding Series A
  • CUSIP: 914402R79
  • Maturity: 04/01/2016
  • Coupon: 3.000%

22. New York University

New York University is perhaps one of the most notable and well-known schools in the nation and it has grown to become one of the country's largest private universities. Many graduates of NYU have gone on to pursue distinguished careers; Foursquare, Pinterest and Def Jam Records were all started by NYU students. The university's municipal bonds are also highly popular among investors, featuring relatively stable and attractive yields.

  • Name: Dormitory Authority of the State of New York New York University Revenue Bonds, Series 2012A
  • CUSIP: 649906TD6
  • Maturity: 07/01/2023
  • Coupon: 3.000%

23. Mount Saint Mary College

Mount Saint Mary College was founded by the Sisters of Saint Dominic in 1959, but its education roots stem back to 1883. The school is located in Newburgh, New York, midway between New York City and New York's capital city, Albany. The college's municipal bond issues offer a stable yield and have a relatively long maturity.

  • Name: The Orange Country Funding Corporation Tax-Exempt Revenue Bonds (Mount Saint Mary College Project), Series 2012B
  • CUSIP: 684594BJ2
  • Maturity: 07/01/2027
  • Coupon: 3.000%

24. East Carolina University

Located in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University is home to the world's first robotic mitral valve repair and creators of the Greenville Gastric Bypass bariatric procedure. Notable alumni include Academy Award Winner Sandra Bullock and three-time Pulitzer Prize Winner Rick Atkinson. The school's municipal bond issues currently hold an Aa2 rating from Moody's.

  • Name: East Carolina University General Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2013A
  • CUSIP: 271371UE4
  • Maturity: 10/01/2029
  • Coupon: 3.000%

25. Ohio State University

Ohio State University ranks as one of the top-20 national public universities, and is recognized for a top-rated academic medical center and a premier cancer hospital and research center. Considering the Buckeye's reputation, it is not surprising that the university also holds the record for the most square feet dedicated to recreation and fitness. The school's municipal bond issues are popular among investors, offering a stable and attractive yield.

  • Name: The Ohio State University Special Purpose Gernal Receipts Bond Series 2013 A
  • CUSIP: 677632ZY0
  • Maturity: 06/01/2027
  • Coupon: 3.000%

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